Together for the sustainable conservation of the Western Indian Ocean

Last week in Maputo a big step was taken as governments from Comoros, France, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania gathered to develop a roadmap for collective sustainable management of the Western Indian Ocean, with a focus on the Northern Mozambique Channel.

Civil society representatives – including the Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge, the Western Indian Ocean Consortium, CORDIO, The Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society and WWF – joined with government and business sector representatives to plan for how to value, protect, manage and enhance the natural ocean assets that are central to their economies, cultures and livelihoods. According to a report launched by WWF earlier this year, the natural resources of the Western Indian Ocean are valued at around US$333.8 billion – so well worth taking care of!

Establishing fisheries management plans for key shared fish stocks such as tuna, promoting improved governance through delineating and planning maritime spaces, and tackling the risks posed by pollution and climate change form the basis of a joint action plan developed during the meeting. Discussions were held around a set of Regional Voluntary Commitments that the countries made in May 2017, toward delivery of UN SDG14 to «conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development» by 2030.

Among the new initiatives emerging from this meeting is a potential award for “resilient coastal cities or islands” to engage cities and small islands to take substantive action against climate change. With growing tourism to the region, those cities and islands competing would be able to showcase and market their sustainability initiatives, and contribute to improving the livelihoods of local communities.

This post was prepared by WWF Madagascar, Communications Office, see the original post here